Harnessing the immune system to target small cell lung cancer

Harnessing the immune system to target small cell lung cancer

Project details

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is the most aggressive subtype of lung cancer, characterised by early metastatic spread and poor survival rates of less than 7 per cent.

A major goal of our research program is to identify new therapeutic strategies that target both primary and metastatic disease.

T cell-based immunotherapies show great promise in SCLC patients. While this is encouraging, sadly many patients still fail to respond — highlighting the need to target other cytotoxic effector populations. This project will examine the role of different immune cell subsets in SCLC immunosurveillance.

Our laboratory uses a wide variety of experimental techniques, including pre-clinical models of lung cancer, tissue/tumour pathology, next-generation sequencing, molecular biology, cell culture, microscopy and flow cytometry.

About our research group

The Sutherland laboratory is embedded within the Stem Cells and Cancer division and has a strong background in in vivo models of lung cancer. We have made seminal contributions into the identification of the cell-of-origin of lung cancer and have a strong interest in understanding the role of the immune microenvironment on tumour (Sutherland, PNAS 2014 111(13):4952; Sutherland, Cancer Cell 2011 19(6):754; Sutherland, Mol. Oncol. 2010 4(5):397) development.

We collaborate widely, both within and outside of the Institute, with lung cancer clinicians, chemical biologists, and immunologists.


Dr Kate Sutherland

Kate Sutherland
Laboratory Head
Dr Sarah Best in the lab
ACRF Stem Cells and Cancer division

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